TelevisaUnivision Upfront Growth Bucks Soft Market

TelevisaUnivision is seeing overall upfront volume growth in the high-single digits for the company’s best showing in nearly decade.

Advertisers helped TelevisaUnivision buck industry trends on price and volume, a person familiar with the situation said. The insurance, auto and telco categories led growth, with insurance — a category with historically low share in Spanish-language media — up more than 100% from last year.

Execs at TelevisaUnivision, which merged in 2022, have long touted opportunities for advertisers they say have not caught up with the size of the Spanish-speaking market. The company has been looking to take revenue share and start to close the pricing gap.

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This upfront saw revenue grow across all national platforms and at new streaming platform ViX. About 80% of advertisers who bought across linear networks enhanced their buys for incremental reach with ViX. The company noted at its upfront presentation in May that the streaming service launched last year had passed 30 million monthly active users. Initially coming to market with two tiers — one free and ad-supported, and another pay tier branded Vix+ — the services combined into a streamlined, Vix-branded outlet earlier this year.

TelevisionUnivision’s increased upfront volume across its core linear business and higher broadcast CPMs were driven in large part by sports. TelevisaUnivision announced at the upfront presentation it had inked a deal with CBS and the NFL to carry Spanish-language broadcasts of Super Bowl LVIII next February. Strong Super Bowl demand saw rates more than double what previous Spanish-language networks secured for the game.

An enhanced soccer portfolio this year includes Liga MX and the upcoming 2024 Copa America. TelevisaUnivision will broadcast the 48th edition of the tournament next July, the second time the U.S. will host the event. 

CBS parent Paramount Global and Fox Corp. weighed in on their upfronts last week, following NBC the week before following protracted negotiations amid unprecedented Hollywood labor action and a problematic ad market. Paramount closed its 2024 selling season up “low-to-mid single digits” in dollar commitments. Fox Corp. showed gains in news and is looking at a fall slate of sports, animated and unscripted content. NBCUniversal secured cash commitments comparable with last year’s record haul.

TelevisaUnivision CEO Wade Davis said on the company’s quarterly earnings call earlier this month that the dual actors and writers strikes currently crippling Hollywood have “zero impact” on his company’s operations, since nearly 100% of its production is outside the U.S.

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